Functional Medicine/Going off these meds?


I was laid off and no longer have coverage for my Avalide for hypertension and Celexa for depression. I stopped taking them both cold turkey last week. Do you think it is safe to stay off if I make health changes?
For the hypertension I have cut out salt and red meat, high glycemic carbs, and am exercising and dieting. I check my BP daily and it is higher but maintaining at high normal-I am hoping it will gradually drop.
For the Celexa, the issue that made me need it, grieving for a loss-has diminished. I also had counselling, and am getting more exercise and getting out and about, which have improved my mental outlook.
I also think I had side effects from both-bloating, weight gain, itchy skin, to name a few. These all got WORSE just after going off, but now that a week has passed they have resolved. Is that normal?
God Bless and have a great summer!

Hey Bud!

Well, you do have a lot going on! First, I should probably say I'm not a doctor (although I know more about natural ways to improve health and health problems than most doctors do)! So I can't tell someone to take or not take prescription drugs.

As you have already stopped, I would first like to ask if you have used a site called You can look up all the side-effects for any drug and most clients I have are shocked at what they find. Most doctors don't explain the side effects as it might discourage people from taking the drugs. But the side-effects you mentioned could very well be from the drugs. And those should improve.

You've apparently suffered the loss of a loved one, which can bring on severe stress and mood problems. I'm glad you've had some counseling and it sounds like you are feeling better. That kind of therapy can really help to gain perspective on your feelings and emotions. And FYI, I also duffered from depression years ago and I tried various drugs (all had terrible side effects). Now I've learned how to support my mood with a healthy lifestyle, and it works! I don't take any drugs at all. They never cure anything, they are designed to treat symptoms!  

For high BP, I don't know your entire history (I usually gather that with new clients so I know all the relevant details). But yes, there are some good ways to keep BP in check. FYI, mine is typically 120/70, like a 20-year old (even though I'm decades older), but I have a very healthy lifestyle with great energy. I'll include links to 2 of my articles on treating depression and BP naturally.

The things you listed for your BP are on the right track, so yes, they should help. And yes, drugs all have a different half-life, which is the time it takes for the blood levels to drop by 50%. Depending on the drug, it can take days to weeks to purge the system. So be patient.  

If you had $29.00 I could give you 2 coaching sessions to go over these issues in more detail so I'm sure I'm giving you the most effective suggestions. For now, here are some links to those articles I mentioned:

I hope these are helpful!


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Steven Carney


I can answer questions that involve nutrition, fitness and weight loss issues. I'm also able to answer questions for chronic, lifestyle-driven conditions, such as high cholesterol/triglycerides, high BP/hypertension, atherosclerosis/heart disease, systemic inflammation, arthritis, high blood sugar, obesity, etc.


I've been passionate about health and nutrition for 20 years, and I have researched and written about the areas I listed above. I handled the ingredient and formula research for Amrion, a nutraceutical company. I also helped to create some of their formulas. See social media icons or more info. I have a blog ( with numerous posts I've researched and written. I've also compiled hundreds of research studies and other resources for the site.

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I've published numerous posts on my site (End Sickness Now) and articles through I've also answered health-oriented questions on websites including Linkedin and Facebook groups (Nutrition, Weight Loss, etc.), Webanswers, Quora, and more.

I'm a Certified Nutrition/Fitness and Health Coach through two different programs: Venice Nutrition and Fowler Wainwright International.

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